In this time of isolation and social distancing social media can help.
In recent years many experts, (and a lot of people who are certainly not experts) have decried the use, (and over use) of social media because of the de-humanizing effect that it can have. In the interest of full disclosure I have frequently been one of those people.
Many of the purported advantages of social media have centered on the benefits to businesses. In many cases businesses large and small have experienced improved bottom lines due to their use of social media. Some of the commonly mentioned benefits are:
But it is not a given that a company will prosper just because they have a Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts. You have to keep a close watch on trends and events and respond quickly to new things happening whether positive or negative. It takes a lot of “grunt” work to be successful with social media just as it did back in the old days before social media. Social media is just another tool in the toolbox. It may be a power tool you still have to use it and use it correctly.
On a personal level much the same is true. Building your personal brand or image can be as important for an individual as it is for a business. Reaching people you would not have been able to reach IRL and exchanging ideas with likeminded individuals are important benefits.
While it is true that social media has some serious downfalls such as:
During times of isolation like inclement weather, natural disasters or even government orders you can’t physically reach the people you normally associate with at work, restaurants, bars, gym, recreation center, church, (or other houses of worship) or other social venues. We humans, (for the most part) are very social animals and isolation can quickly cause an emotional “hole” that is hard to fill.
Social media can be a way to fill that hole. It offers a way that you can reach for friends, family and co-workers and share experiences, messages, pictures, videos, music, art, stories and jokes. Maybe you can’t be there in person but you can still add a personal touch, albeit with limitations.
But remember social media is not real life! People, often adolescent and even younger, tend to forget that. So here are some tips from someone rapidly approaching “old fartdom” on using social media:
Here are some quick notes about social media etiquette.
Things you should do on social media:
Things you should not do on social media: (Most of this should be common sense but common sense is not all that common.)
In the old days if we couldn’t meet face to face all we had was a telephone and handwritten letters. Social media offers us a much greater realm of communication if we are careful about how we use it.
And remember — always back it up!